Getting started with WebCenter 11g, released on July 1st 2009, is quite easy. What you have to do exactly depends on the environment you work in, the bits and pieces in WebCenter that you want to make use of and the other FMW components that are part of your technology stack. Note that most of the installation steps you have to go through for WebCenter 11g are the same as for SOA Suite 11g – both involve WebLogic 11g, the Repository (Creation Utility against an 11g database) and the creation of a dedicated domain on WebLogic.
If all you are looking for is fiddling around with WebCenter in an isolated development environment, there is a lot you can do by simply adding the WebCenter plugin to JDeveloper 11g (22.214.171.124.x). With the plugin installed, you can work with (most) WebCenter Services, ,most of the WebCenter Composer and Framework facilities – including run time page customization and consuming portlets. Just go to the Help Window in JDeveloper, select the Check for Updates option and select the WebCenter 11g extension to be installed. A JAR of some 150 Mb or so is downloaded, JDeveloper is restarted, the integrated WebLogic Server is extended with WebCenter functionality and you are ready for some WebCenter development.
You can also download the zip-file with the WebCenter extension for JDeveloper directly from the page at: http://www.oracle.com/technology/products/jdev/101/update/fmw_products.xml. You can then install the extension using the option ‘local file’ and selecting the zip file.
A very useful article was published yesterday by George Maggessy on the installation of WebCenter 11g on a Linux box – see http://georgemaggessy.blogspot.com/2009/07/installing-webcenter-suite-11g-on-linux.html. He explains – and demonstrates through many screenshots – what the steps are (by and large the same as on Windows by the way) and what choices you have to make during the installation process.